The San Antonio Spurs are two days from making Victor Wembanyama the number one overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, but their work is far from finished after adding an organizational cornerstone to their rebuilding roster. Reports have circulated about the front office having interest in packaging their trade assets for another first-rounder, and fans will soon see if those rumors come to fruition.
General Manager Brian Wright confirmed some of the recent speculation on Monday when he spoke to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News, saying the club would consider moving future draft picks or their second-rounders to trade up in this class. However, it takes two to tango, and the more likely scenario is the Spurs stay put. Even if that happens, several prospects should be on their radar.
Jordan Walsh lived in the shadow of fellow five-star recruits Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black during his lone season at Arkansas, but he raised his draft stock as the glue guy for a talented program that made it to the Sweet Sixteen. The Spurs reportedly conducted a workout with the freshman forward near the beginning of June, and he has all the classic traits their front office covets in a young player.
Although the 19-year-old is a virtual non-shooter at this stage in his development, he offers genuine value as a connective tissue playmaker that pushes the pace off rebounds and maintain advantages his teammates create by making quick decisions off the catch. He sacrifices his body for loose balls, crashes the offensive glass, and generate loads of second-chance points with his unmatched motor.
His defensive upside sets him apart from his peers, and his tenacity on this end of the court will help him earn him minutes in the NBA as a rookie. Walsh has sound fundamentals, remaining balanced on closeouts for effective high-hand contests. He has the length to bother wings, the footspeed to hold his own against guards, the flexibilty to navigate screens, and the active hands to produce turnovers.